Narrow Is The Path

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This year has been a horrible one for me and my family. Mostly losses, but also strained relationships, heartaches, broken dreams, health issues, and on and on. It’s like I could list a “record of wrongs”, but in a different way than 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of.

As I sit and think about Thursday’s theme, Walking Into My New Adventure, I’m not all that thrilled. There’s a quote I heard awhile back that keeps coming to mind.

We’re not afraid of the future, but of the past repeating itself.

Yep. Right on. Hit the nail on the head. I am afraid of reliving the nightmares that have come this past year (and years before).

Who will be diagnosed with cancer this year?

What dreams will fail this year?

What will I do wrong to make someone block my calls this year?

Who am I going to lose in my life this year?

Shall I go on? Let’s not. Rehashing it just makes it worse.

But it’s true. Just because my mom had cancer, didn’t mean my father-in-law was immune to it, because he was diagnosed, too.

Just because my brother survived a car accident, didn’t mean my cousin would…because didn’t.

Just because our business was going well, didn’t mean something would come in and wreck havoc on it all…because it did.

There’s a whole lot of grief going on in this household right now and I can only imagine how many of you are experiencing it, too.

What kept coming to mind were The Beatitudes. Our pastor had a series of sermons on these and he picked them apart for us which was a big eye opener. I now see them and read them in a whole new light.  Here’s what I mean…

Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are those who are happy all the time, because they will get everything they desire.”

No, He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are those who never experience loss or sadness, because they will won’t ever need Me to comfort them.”

No, He said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Just picking out another one, out of order…

Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are the ones who cause heartache and chaos, for they will be called sons of God.”

No, He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

You see…our lives aren’t supposed to be perfect. Our lives aren’t supposed to be filled with only  happiness. If they were, why would we need God?  Why would we develop a relationship with Him? What would lead us to Him?

I’d love to say that at all times, I only go to God when great things happen. I do thank Him, but sometimes it’s in the wrong order.  (Yes, I did just confess to that…)  Sometimes I thank people before Him. Sometimes I praise others before Jesus when I am blessed.  Saying this makes me cringe.  But, in all honesty, it’s true.

Oh, here’s another good one….

Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are the ones whose motives and hearts are selfish and full of vain, for they will see God.”

He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

How my heart longs to see the face of Jesus….I can’t barely stand it!  I. Cannot. Wait. But that pure in heart thing? I think I need to work on that. Every single day. Every moment of every day.

My excuse is not simply that I’m not pure in heart because I’m a sinner and was born into sin.  No, this is something to really work on.

I mourn the loss of so many loved ones right now; I am poor in spirit almost more than I have ever been; my ability to make peace at this very moment is a huge struggle….and you already know how I feel about the pure in heart piece.

I’ve got a lot of work to do.

This is me…walking into a new adventure.

The adventure might not look all that exciting. In fact, thinking of dealing with these things kinda scares me. But, this is my adventure. Is it completely new? No. But am I willing to take a try at it again? Yes. Hopefully over and over and over again, taking up my cross daily.

I don’t know how your year has been. I don’t know if you’re mourning, or hurting, or poor in spirit, but I can tell you that you aren’t alone.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? If so, you will be filled! That’s good news!

All of these “Beatitudes” come with a blessing–at least in my eyes. When we walk with God; when we lay it all at His feet and come boldly before the throne for help, He is there to help.

And the reward? Well, it may not be a perfect life and it may have it’s struggles like mine did this year, because our reward is in heaven. That’s when we receive the prize for taking this crazy adventure with Him!

Matthew 7:13-14 tells us in Jesus’ own words, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Take Jesus’ hand and follow Him on that narrow road. The adventure He has for us awaits. While we’re being navigated on this road, He will lead us. He won’t leave us, He won’t forsake us, He will join us in this adventure of life….the life that leads to eternal life with Him.

I hope you’ll join me. I’d love to have you there…